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Russia says paid doping fine to World Athletics

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Moscow (AFP)

Russia's athletics federation said Wednesday it had paid a doping fine with help from the sports ministry so it can avoid expulsion from the sport's global governing body.

The Russian athletics federation (RUSAF) said it "paid... the fine in full" on Wednesday "thanks to support from the sports ministry."

RUSAF has been suspended since 2015, and its athletes were barred from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

World Athletics said last month it would go further by expelling Russia unless it made an outstanding payment of $6.3 million in fines and costs for anti-doping breaches by August 15.

The Russian sports ministry said earlier Wednesday that it had "made an unprecedented decision" to give RUSAF a "one-time subsidy to develop the sport, including to pay off a debt to World Athletics."

An expulsion would have meant Russian athletes were sidelined from international competitions including the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The $6.3 million was the remaining part of a $10 million fine that the Russian federation only partially paid off by July 1.

World Athletics has also demanded RUSAF set out a detailed plan for its reinstatement by August 31, including commitments for anti-doping and governance reforms.

The Russian sports ministry said it would "continue to render support and assistance in the implementation of a plan to enforce a zero-tolerance attitude towards doping and reinstating the RUSAF membership in World Athletics."

RUSAF said that the plan was being developed with the involvement of World Athletics, Russia's Olympic Committee and Russia's anti-doping laboratory as well as the sports ministry.

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